Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Late Blight Chatter

I have been reading some interesting thoughts on the coming gardening season, and many folks are thinking 2012 has the potential to be similar to 2009 in regards to late blight infection on the East Coast.  There are some varieties that show moderate to excellent resistance.  I have been keeping a short list of varieties that are reported to perform best under the blight umbrella:

  • Plum Regal
  • Magic Mountain
  • Defiant
  • Matt's Wild Cherry
  • Yellow Pear
  • Black Krim
I may be changing my tomato list based on these predictions for 2012.  I did order Mountain Magic seeds from Johnny's, as well as some liquid copper.  This application alternated with Serenade seems to offer the best protection against late blight.  As for the disease itself it is actually a water mold.  Look for brown, water soaked looking areas on stems and leaves starting on the newer growth.  Eventually the white fuzzies appear on the undersides of leaves, and the fruit can become blemished as well.  It is said the fruit appears to be rotten but will actually be firm to the touch, which is not the case with other diseases.  I have had late blight on my tomatoes on more than one occasion so I am planning on being proactive this year (the photos shown on this post are from my garden in 2009).  Anyone else have thoughts or a plan of attack for this year if blight is back in town?



8 comments:

Sue said...

I sure hope that's not going to be a problem this year. You're smart to be on top of this though....in case it does rear it's ugly head again.
We don't have blight problems up here so much--way to dry for that, but never say never, huh?
Best of luck in the garden this year. The way this winter has been, it's anyones guess what the season will bring.....

Kelly said...

You are not kidding Sue!

Jenny said...

Oh I really hope this will not be like 2009. :( I'm about to start my seedlings for tomatoes and have quite a few varieties to try so I hope they all grow well and have good harvest without blight. This winter already been very bad - no snow to protect bulbs and deep freeze. My poor garlic is all wiped out :(

Kelly said...

Oh that is too bad Jenny! This has been a tough winter on the plants.

Erin said...

I'm pretty much screwed this year, because I had blight last year in my raised beds. I've never seen blight spread as fast as it did with my Amish Paste. I did 2 varieties that are supposed to be resistant also, Juliet and the Flora-Dade that UF bred, I was able to get a decent harvest but they eventually succumbed as well. The Brandywines held up the best, producing fruit until September even though most of the leaves and branches had been trimmed off, I was amazed by them. I think the key to my harvests was that I'm far enough south that I had fruit on the vine early. I did the copper too, all it did was psych treatment for me, it didn't really stop the blight. My plan this year is to hope for the best and get the plants out there early LOL... I'm done spending money on all those treatments!

Kelly said...

I had blight last year as well Erin, but is was not nearly as severe as 2009, and my potatoes were not infected (at least not to my knowledge). I hope you escape it this year, or at least have a less severe outbreak.

Sri Ranjani said...

I never have problems with blight here. My tomato related problems have been consistently with leaf miners alone. I always seem to loose the fight with them. Hope your tomatoes do well this year. Good luck!

Kelly said...

Leaf miners huh? Funny how pronounced regional differences are, leaf miners where I live go for the spinach and mustards etc.....good luck with your tomatoes as well!